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How to Help Your Child Adjust to a New Sibling

When you grow your family from one child to two or more, it can be a daunting task trying to get your older child to adjust. Sibling rivalry is very natural, but you can minimize it by using these tips to help your big kid get ready for the new baby. Here’s how.

1. Get your older child ready
When you know you’ll be welcoming a new baby, tell your older child. You can read books with your child about becoming a big brother or sister too. However, you should make sure you focus on the positive points instead of negative ones. Look for books that show brothers and sisters being kind and caring to help inspire your child.

2. Talk to your child about the baby
Babies are just little people and it’s important your older child knows this. Tell them about what babies need from milk to diapers and how babies tend to sleep quite a bit. Letting your child know that babies need our care will motivate them to help you care for the new baby.

3. Get your child involved in friendships with others
Children that have developed friendships before they become a big brother or sister will know how to build a good relationship with their younger siblings. Make sure your child has this practice by getting them involved with other children in the form of friends or even cousins.

4. Let your child care for something
A great way to instill a sense of caring in your older child is to give them a new doll or stuffed animal that they can take care of. By doing this, she’ll bond with you even more because she’ll see the way you take care of the baby and do the same for her new toy.

5. Give lots of compliments
We know that babies need all our attention because they cannot do anything for themselves. But your older child will likely not understand. Make sure you spend some one-on-one time with your other child and get her help. You can ask her to grab a diaper for you during changing time, or tell her to sing a song to the baby while you fix her a snack. When we instill this in young minds, we’re likely to wind up with children that want to help out and be a shining example of a big brother or sister.

6. Let your child choose
While you’re pregnant, allow your child to pick out clothes, books, or toys for the new baby. She’ll feel like she’s valued and has choices. She’ll also be more inclined to assist you when you need a helping hand which is something you’ll be grateful for.

Don’t forget that the most important thing you can do during this transitional time is to be patient with your child. Always show love and kindness during this period of adjustment and you’ll be much more likely to get the results you want.

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